Autumn Fall

The Rasmussen poll, which surveys likely voters, has shown President Obama's approval ratings in the upper forties for months. Now another poll, one that surveys registered voters - a less select group who are less informed and thus slower to reflect the decline - has dropped below 50%.
Obama's approval rating fell to 48% in polling done by Quinnipiac University. The Quinnipiac University Poll surveyed 2,518 registered voters November 9-16 and has a margin of error of +/- 2%. The 48% approval rating is down from a 59% approval rating in February/March.
The timing couldn't be worse for a White House still struggling to get its big first year initiative - a government takeover of the health care sector - through the U.S. Senate. Without popular support, why should congress walk off the cliff with him?
Further, the percentage of registered voters who approve of Obama's handling of the economy also declined, to 43% in November from 47% in October. On the economy, the approval rating was split along party lines: 13% of Republicans approved, compared to 38% for Independents, and 77% for Democrats.
Notice that only Democrats support the President on his most important policy matter. Independents, who gave Obama the presidency, have lost all interest. The GOP is as against him as registered Democrats are in favor.
In general, to govern effectively, a president's approval rating should remain above 50%, although a momentary dip below 50% is not serious. However, if the approval rating drops below 45%, presidential power, particularly the power to persuade Congress to implement his legislative agenda, deceases.